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Cat killer receives three-to-six-year sentence

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 25. 2018 8:57PM
George Abbott arrives at his animal cruelty trial. He is charged with torturing his cat, Chloe. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — Cat killer George Abbott, whose lawyer claimed the killing of his beloved cat was a sacrifice to God, was sentenced this week to three to six years in state prison on animal cruelty charges.

Abbott, who is on lifetime parole for a 1983 murder, was also banned from owning, caring for or controlling another animal, according to the prosecutor in the case, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Nicole Schultz-Price.

In March, a jury quickly found Abbott, 70, guilty of felony animal cruelty. During the trial, police said he took a serrated knife to his cat, Chloe, on March 6, 2017, at his Laurel Street apartment.

His lawyer had claimed that he believed God told him to sacrifice the cat as part of a decision to save his life.

Shultz-Price said police did not originally arrest Abbott on the animal cruelty charge. He was committed to the New Hampshire Hospital, and during an eight-day period he assaulted three patients at the hospital, Schultz-Price said.

She described the assaults as incredibly violent and unprovoked. After the third assault, he was sent to the Secure Psychiatric Unit of the New Hampshire State Prison and authorities revoked his parole, Schultz-Price said.

An indictment on the animal cruetly charge followed.

Several friends of Abbott wrote to the judge urging a light sentence, the prosecutor said. He had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and has been battling the mental disorder for years, the sentencing judge was told.

Before he can be released on parole, both the medical and mental-health staff at the state prison must deem Abbott suitable for parole.

In 1984, a jury convicted Abbott of second-degree murder for the killing of David Staples in the Manchester apartment they shared.

Abbott tried to convince jurors then he was insane at the time of the crime, a defense they rejected.

“The defendant has a long history of mental illness and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals during the past 20 years,” reads a 1985 New Hampshire Supreme Court decision that rejected his appeal. His appeals in federal court also were rejected.

Abbott was sentenced to 15 years to life.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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